23 SES 09 E, Mixed Session
The OECD (2018) states that education must be inclusive and equitable for all. This is a human right that is not fulfilled in many countries around the globe. Pakistan is an example of a country where the girl’s educational system has seen a flagging evolution in a security-centric state or, more precisely, primary girl’s education in Pakistan struggles to flourish in a security-centric, military-mullah dominated country (Haqqani 2004).
The aim of this paper is to understand the social construction of primary girl’s education in Pakistan, in particular, the influence of the military-Islam nexus. The social construction of Pakistani society cannot be comprehended without understanding the role of the military and its impact on its socio-political issue and policymaking.
How does the securitization of Pakistan impact the social construction of primary girl’s education?
This paper merges together the lineage of the securitization model (Buzan, Wæver et al. 1998; Balzacq 2010) with Foucauldian poststructuralist analysis of power (Foucault 1980; Foucault 1982; Foucault, Burchell et al. 1991) and feminist theories of gender construction (Butler 1988; Davies and Harré 1990; Walkerdine 1990; Davies 2003) while investigating primary girl’s education in Pakistan. Eventually, building on Foucault’s poststructuralist analysis of social construction through power relations and the regime of practices, the objective is to examine how the regime of practices of securitization impacts social construction of Pakistani women and what impact this has on primary girl’s education in Pakistan.
The paper uniquely employs the theory of securitization (Baldwin 1997; Buzan, Wæver et al. 1998; Balzacq 2005; Stritzel 2007; McDonald 2008; Bilgin 2011; Wæver 2011; Williams 2012; Hirschauer 2014) to explore the securitization of Pakistan. The theory of securitization explains the domination of security actors and their usage of the speech-act notion in framing a certain action, incident or philosophy as a threat to a referent object and presenting it to an audience, where the whole issue becomes securitized (Stritzel 2007). Furthermore, the core idea generated via the theory of securitization, the role of security-actors and the process of speech act is the underlying notion of power (Buzan, Wæver et al. 1998; Stritzel 2007; Bilgin 2011; Wæver 2011). Moreover, in some cases, security actors command authority of power because ‘some actors are placed in positions of power by virtue of being generally accepted voices of security, by having the power to define security’ (Buzan, Wæver et al. 1998 : p, 31). Wæver, the pioneer of securitization theory (Balzacq 2010), defines the theory of securitization as a speech-act, in which security is not treated as an objective condition but a consequence of a certain social process (Wæver 1995). Thus, the application of theory of securitization can lead to a better understanding on Pakistan and its issues, as Pakistan’s struggle with threat concerns both internal (Cohen 2003; Hoodbhoy 2007) and external (Amin 2000) along with the role of security actors such as military (Zaidi 2005) and Islam (Haqqani 2004) on socio-political procedures.
Therefore, the scholarship of this study explores how securitization as a form of state domination structures gender in Pakistani society and what impact state domination has on primary girl’s education. Hence, the research will feed into policy making and practice in Pakistan as well as contribute to academic knowledge in the fields of security and education. It will provide a case study to understand the issue of gender and girl’s education in countries coping with security dilemmas. Moreover, in times when the subject of national state security has taken the center-stage, this research holds immense significance in comprehending its impact on gender construction and girl’s education in an overarching global context.
Methodology: The approach of the study stems out of interpretivist paradigm and incorporates qualitative methodology to answer the research question. There are a number of players when it comes to the formulation and implementation of the contested nature of the educational policy. As the study focused on the role of security actors and their influencing role in the securitization of the Pakistani state and its impact on primary girl’s education, it was crucial to identify the power players in the realm of Pakistani context. Therefore, the study recruited civil servants, military officials, religious scholars, third sector officials and educationists to represent the dominant state structures in Pakistan and their integral relevance to the study. Civil servant related to the Ministry of Education and other government departments involved with the primary girl’s education policy and curriculum formulation such as Punjab Text Book Board were interviewed. Military officials were high ranked officers serving/retired. They were recruited to better understand the Pakistan Army’s point of view on the contested nature of education policy. Moreover, the aim was to explore the significance of security issues and how this concern influences the primary girl’s education policy. Third sector professionals were selected from both INGOs and NGOs such as Oxfam Pakistan, United Nation, Citizen Education Foundation and DFID, and had a proven track record of working on various gender and education-related issues in Pakistan. Educationists represented specialist related to primary girl’s school, university professors, and coordinators. Religious Scholars were the people related to various religious bodies and organisations in Pakistan. The purpose of conducting elite interviews with religious scholars was to evaluate the religious standpoint on female education in a society formed on a religious ideological stance. In total 25 participants were selected (5 per group) and the data was collected using elite interview methods. The elite interviews as described by Richards (1996 : p, 199-200) provides an insight into the mind of the actors who shape the society in which they live and their subjective analyses of specific situations. During the interview session, which lasted from 30-90 minutes, participants were inquired to offer their understanding of themes of power, knowledge, gender, security, and education. Their insights were interpreted using interpretivist paradigm to comprehend the reason behind discursive practices prevalent in Pakistani society and their impact on gender construction and primary girl’s education. The data were transcribed and coded to identify the emerging themes.
Expected Outcomes: The primary aim of the paper is to give voice to the girls of Pakistan and the global regions whose educational ambitions are curtailed by the discursive practices of security and hegemonic state structures. Principally, resulting in the social construction of women in patriarchal societies, where patriarchal practices and attitudes stem out of dominant security-nationalistic-religious praxis. Based on the data analysis, the study aims to address the deficits in the literature and hence pave the way for future studies on the issue of securitization and its effectiveness in the education sector. In the case of Pakistan and relevant military-religion dominant countries, this qualitative methodology approach can be of great significance, both academically and professionally, to be used by the educational policymakers, national human rights institutions, civil society organisations and educational researchers. The relevance of this research will benefit the young girls of Pakistan by highlighting the role of education in regards to the issues of power, equity, and social justice. Given the interpretative nature of the research, the data collected will be valuable in that they will inform patterns of perceptions and will add to current knowledge in the field of education research, which could act as a case study for diverse global regions. Also, it can help inform educators in the EU (European Union) who are attempting to develop global initiatives such as MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) to improve quality education and gender equality in the global south. Moreover, the findings of the study can assist the representatives of various donor agencies such as DFID (Department for International Development) and European Union organisations to build a better understanding of Pakistan’s educational culture.
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00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
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